The build up to Christmas
It’s that time of the year again, and University truly is a great place to be if you love the build up to Christmas (mainly because it is 100% acceptable for the celebrations and decorations to begin in early November). So, I thought I’d compile some of the ways I love to start getting in the Christmas spirit whilst at uni, whether that be as simple as decorating your flat, or hopping on a train to some of the nearest Christmas markets.
Firstly, one of my personal highlights has always been the house or flat Christmas meal. In my first year, we went through the effort of organising a massive Christmas dinner for all 23 people in our Rootes kitchen. Accompanied by games, decorations and a seasonal playlist, it really was one of my highlights of my first year at university; it’s also a great way to bid farewell (4 weeks apart definitely felt like 4 weeks too long) to all your new best friends of whom you’ve become far too attached to over the past 10 weeks.
The last 2 years, however, we have opted for the slightly easier option of going out for Christmas dinner. Although many places can be rather pricey, we had a great dinner at The Old Library in Leamington which was only £12 each for 3 courses (quite the bargain).
Another fantastic way to get into the Christmas spirit is also, of course, getting the decorations out. Whether that be your halls, kitchen, bedroom or the living room of your house, a few Poundland decorations can go a long way. In my first year, I think our kitchen got a little carried away with the decorating, staying up til 4am to ensure every inch of our kitchen was covered in handmade festivities (we actually ended up winning the competition for the best decorated kitchen on campus). This standard was not quite sustained in the years to come though, and we have now opted for a small, and slightly dishevelled Christmas tree in the corner of our living room.
In terms of places to go, Leamington is a great place to visit or to be living during the festive period. You’ve got the Christmas light switch on, and also the Christmas market that runs every Sunday in the run up to Christmas where you can find plenty of food, drink and gifts.
If you have the time and a bit of spare cash, I’d 100% recommend taking the short train journey to Birmingham (20-30 minutes) for their Christmas market, and with a railcard you can get return tickets for around £7 which I’d definitely say was worth it. There’s such a variety of great food, drink and music, and its also right in the city centre so you can easily combine it with a bit of Christmas shopping at the same time.
If you’re up for going slightly further afield, you’re also only an hour or so away from London (typically 1/1.5 hours on the train), and if you book in advance you can get return tickets for as cheap as £8/10, which means a quick trip to Winter Wonderland isn’t too pricey. I went for the first time this year and absolutely loved it; from the hot dogs and churros to Ice Skating and visiting the Ice bar, there’s no shortage of things to do. And, if you’re trying to save a bit of money, entry is completely free so you can always just have a wonder.